Boston Red Sox
(EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the 24th of 30 at-bats for the upcoming 2018 major league baseball season. On deck Thursday, the Los Angeles Dodgers.)
Once the Yankees signed Giancarlo Stanton and his 59 homers, you just knew Red Sox Nation demanded a response. And they got it.
Enter J.D. Martinez and his 45 bombs from Arizona. The war against the Evil Empire is definitely on. They meet April 10 for a 3-game lovefest at Fenway Park.
The Sox have had back to back 93-69 seasons yet fired John Farrell and brought in more player friendly Alex Cora, whose managerial experience is zilch. No matter, he played for a time with Boston and knows the game.
Boston is good enough to win 100 games, but there are concerns. Rick Porcello dropped off dramatically from his Cy Young numbers in 2016. David Price was given a king’s ransom but has not delivered proper payment and is an old 33. So Chris Sale was brought in to lead the staff. The former White Sox lefty is plain nasty and a definite Cy Young contender. Craig Kimbrel is the best closer in the game.
The three B’s outfield firm of Benintendi, Bradley and Betts is young, fast and prolific. Martinez will play a little bit of right field and DH. Hanley Ramirez will play first base and DH. Mitch Moreland will also see action at first.
Second baseman and captain Dustin Pedroia is the elder statesman in the lineup at 34. Petey comes off a tough 2016 with just seven homers due in large part to missing 57 games due to injury. The Sox are going to score a lot runs, play solid defense and potentially have a quality big three in the rotation.
But the AL East is famous for teams from first falling to last and rising from last to first. The Red Sox went from last to first in 2015. Toronto has done it and so have Baltimore and Tampa Bay. This season you can make an argument that the Red Sox will go the longest without losing. Boston plays Tampa Bay seven times in the first nine games. The other two are against Miami, arguably the worst team in baseball.
The Sox are projected to win 91.5 games. They could 3-peat 93 and they could start 9-0.
Encore: The Red Sox are 10-1 currently to win the World Series, which is a bargain. Expect that price to go down.
2017 record: 93-69
2016 record: 93-69
2015 record: 78-84
World Series win odds: 10-1
Odds to win AL East: 15-10, 2nd
2018 season win total: 91.5